Timing of esophagectomy after neoadjuvant chemoradiation treatment in squamous cell carcinoma

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Background:Time interval between neoadjuvant (combined) chemotherapy and radiation (nCRT) and surgery has been linked to pathologic response rates and outcomes in patients with various solid cancers. The optimal timing between nCRT and esophagectomy in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), however, is not known. Our aim was to analyze the relation between elapsed time from completion of nCRT to esophagectomy and postsurgical mortality and overall survival.Methods:We reviewed the National Cancer Database for patients with SCC (n = 1,244) of the esophagus diagnosed between 2003 and 2011 who were treated with nCRT followed by esophagectomy within 26 weeks after completion of nCRT.Results:Thirty-day mortality was 5.6% and 90-day mortality was 11.1%. The duration of post-nCRT interval was not a predictor of 30-day and 90-day postoperative mortality in multivariate models, but 30-day postoperative mortality was predictable based on increasing Charlson-Deyo comorbidities (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.77, P = .054) and improved in academic institutions (aOR 0.66, P = .005). Similar findings were found for 90-day mortality (comorbidity index aOR 1.58, P = .046) and for treatment at an academic facility (0.82, P = .062). In a multivariate survival analysis, the duration of the post-nCRT interval was not found to be a predictor of overall survival (P = .769), whereas increasing age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.02, P = .005), increasing comorbidity score (HR 1.38, P = .005), treatment at an academic hospital (HR 0.84, P = .001), and post-treatment nodal status (HR 1.73, P < .001) were predictors.Conclusion:Perioperative mortality and overall survival are not affected by the time interval between completion of nCRT and esophagectomy among patients with SCC histology.

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